Wednesday, 1 December 2010
How to Stop Snoring
Snoring is defined as a coarse sound made by vibrations of the soft palate and other tissue in the mouth, nose & throat (upper airway). It is caused by turbulence inside the airway during inspiration. The turbulence is caused by a partial blockage that may be located anywhere from the tip of the nose to the vocal chords. The restriction may occur only during sleep, or it may persist all the time and be worse when we are asleep. This is because our muscle tone is reduced during sleep and there may be insufficient muscle tone to prevent the airway tissue vibrating. During waking hours muscle tone keeps the airway in good shape; that's why we don't snore when awake.
Snoring can originate from the nose, oropharynx or the base of the tongue. In recent years it has been found that the tongue plays a far more important role in the incidence of snoring than was once thought.
Snoring is something that cannot be stopped at will, neither is it something that can be 'cured'. It can however, be successfully controlled. Snoring is caused by a physical abnormality that needs to be identified before a control can be found. This is not as difficult as it seems and the good news is there is a control for everybody. Finding the cause is the key to finding a solution. In most instances snoring can be controlled bysimple self-help remedies.
Most snorers tend to take the 'hit and miss' route to finding a solution, with the inevitable disappointing result. They are often lured into buying products that claim to have exceedingly high success rates. Sadly, for many snorers, they become so despondent that they give up on their quest to stop. How many times have you heard 'I have tried everything, but nothing works'?
Our 'tests' have been specially designed to help you find the cause of your snoring. By performing each test and by a process of elimination you will identify the cause or causes in your individual case so you can work on those areas of concern.
What Can I Do To Stop Snoring?
"How can I stop snoring?" is easily our most frequently asked question. We have the solution for you.
Do the simple tests below, find what kind of snorer you are and discover appropriate treatments approved by the UK's leading authority the British Snoring & Sleep Apnoea Association.
Looking in a mirror, press the side of one nostril to close it. With your mouth closed, breathe in through your other nostril. If the nostril tends to collapse, try propping it open with the clean end of a matchstick. If breathing is easier with the nostril propped open, nasal dilators may solve your snoring problem. Test both nostrils.
Now, with your mouth closed, try breathing in through your nose. If you cannot breathe well through your nose you may be suffering from nasal stuffiness caused by allergy. You may wish to consider the following causes: Feather pillows & bedding, pet hair, house dust mite, allergic rhinitis, seasonal allergies, perfumes & body sprays, household cleansers such as bleach.
Mouth Breathing Test
Open your mouth and make a snoring noise. Now close your mouth and try to make the same noise. If you can only snore with your mouth open then you are a 'mouth breather'.
Stick your tongue out as far as it will go and grip it between your teeth. Now try to make a snoring noise. If the snoring noise is reduced with your tongue in this forward position then you are probably what is known as a 'tongue base snorer'. The most appropriate control for this type of snoring is a Mandibular Advancement Device.
You may find that you fit into more than one of these snoring categories. In which case your snoring is probably originating from several areas. For example, you may suffer from both palatal flutter and tongue base snoring.
If none of these tests has helped it is possible that your soft palate is vibrating. 'Palatal flutter' is the vibration of the soft palate and uvula. This is often the cause in patients who are of normal weight.
Body Mass Index (BMI Test)
If you think you are overweight, find out by checking your Body Mass Index (BMI). You can do this by dividing your weight (kg) by your height² (m).
If your BMI is greater than 25 you are overweight. If your BMI is greater than 30 you are obese. In both instances you need to lose weight not only to help stop snoring, but to prevent other diseases associated with obesity. Check it out here.